What images of light and fire does Juliet inspire in Romeo?

3 Answers

kmj23's profile pic

kmj23 | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

To find some examples of light and fire imagery, take a look at the balcony scene in Act II, Scene II. When Juliet first appears at the window, for example, Romeo compares her to the sun:

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

He also compares her eyes to the fiery, twinkling stars

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,

Having some business, do entreat her eyes

To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

Similarly, Romeo says that her cheeks are so bright that they would "shame" those two stars, just as daylight outshines a "lamp."

So, for Romeo, Juliet's beauty is so bright and obvious that it is a bright light, shining towards him and attracting his attention. It outshines many of the world's natural sources of light, like stars. This emphasizes just how much Romeo loves her: she is the truly the light of his life and this is why he cannot be without her, despite the feud between their families.

Sources:
amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Romeo has always thought his "love" for Rosaline, for example, was sincere and genuine.  It is not until he sees Juliet that the veil has been lifted and sees clearly for the first time.  She is the sun, the glowing jewel in Ethiop's ear, the most beautiful of all maidens on earth.

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! (I, v)

She is brighter than any torch that burns and indeed, teaches them HOW to burn brightly.

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The first one that came to my mind is probably the most famous in the whole play:

"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she." (2.2)

For Romeo, it is as if darkness has been suddenly wiped away from his eyes, from his entire existence - Juliet has appeared and he doesn't just say she is like the sun (a simile).  He goes all the way into metaphor and says that she is the sun.